Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Oh my gosh, for goodness sake, you just ran around a lake"

That’s what the man on the side of the road with drums at mile 12.5 sang as I ran past him on Saturday morning.  The word “ran” in that sentence has a very loose definition, he was sitting at the top of a large hill and I was more… not even jogging, it was a bit more like shuffling by the time I got to him.  But I was pleased. 

I’ve been training for a half marathon, a 13 mile run, all summer and for those of you who know me, you know that’s a HUGE stretch.  I hate running.  But, even so, I really wanted to say I’d run a half marathon (I wasn’t foolish enough to think I could tackle the whole).  I’d tried training before, but it never worked and then in May I felt like God said, “Now’s the time.”  When my friend Rhonda asked if I’d run with her, I agreed.

When I was in DC at the Unplugged conference I was introduced to the phrase “Fall in love with the climb”.  The phrase means to love the journey, the fun and the pain and the mess that comes with it.  The phrase was so brilliant to me that I wanted to do something physical to represent it.  I was already in training for the half marathon and it just seemed to click in.  All summer I’ve been trying to love the journey of training for the half marathon.  And surprisingly, I have for the most part.  When I started I could barely run a mile (seriously, it was bad) and then at the end 3 or 4 miles was no problem.

Through the process I’ve learned things about myself, one of the most important being that I can handle more than what I think I can handle.  I’ve learned things about God, like the fact that He is faithful and when we enter into a plan with Him, He will see us through and help us to the very end.  I’ve learned things about topography, like there is no place in the world that is as flat as Plover and that if you’re used to running in Plover, running anywhere else seems like a mountain range.

So, what’s the next big challenge?  I’m not quite sure yet, but I think it might have something to do with music.  Quite possibly leading worship from the guitar.  Ooo, that’s scary.

Creator of Amazing

Have you ever known a drummer?  Fascinating, isn’t it?  They are the King Midases of our time.  I’ve been friends with numerous drummers, my brother is a drummer, and now I work with drummers as a worship leader and one thing is true of all of them.  Everything that is placed in their hands becomes a percussion instrument.  A rhythm is created!  It doesn’t matter if it is the dining room table, a shoe, a set of keys, a broken pencil, a water glass or another individual’s head… or their own head for that matter.  If the drummer can reach it, it will become the object of tapping and rhythmic creation.

Just like drummers create rhythm, God creates amazing.  Whatever is placed in God’s hands becomes the creation center for something amazing.  It is incredible to see a master at work, especially when they are showing their talent with ordinary things.  Several years ago I had the privilege to see Stomp perform live.  Stomp is a percussion group that uses regular, everyday and often non-functional items to create astounding rhythms.  They use shop brooms and sinks full of water and garbage cans and tools and it is wonderful to see them create.  It is much more astounding to see God create something amazing out of a broken life.  Whatever is placed in His hands, no matter how broken and desperate or how wonderful and strong, He can make it into something Amazing.  When lives of abuse and addiction are placed in His hands, He creates amazing victories and freedom to be used and proclaimed for His glory.  When broken and jaded hearts are placed in His hands, He can create incredible capacity to hold and pour out Love.  When gifts of leadership and teaching are placed in His hands, He can create generation influencers and tide changers.  When gifts of compassion and endurance are placed in His hands, he can create phenomenal testimonies of sacrifice and encouragement. 

Whoever you are, whatever you have place it in the hands of God and He will make it astounding.  What should you place in His hands?  What can you give to the Creator of Amazing?